Our Story 

Fortunate Farm is an intergenerational family farm that grows heirloom vegetables, berries and flowers in the small town of Caspar in Mendocino County. We farm with sincere care for the land and are committed to improving and protecting its beautiful, rock-free sandy loam soil. The farm’s 40 acres are made up of pastures, creeks, forest and a large spring-fed irrigation pond.

Before us, the Tregoning family owned the land for 150 years. During this time, they managed dairy cows and grew potatoes and peas. Later it became home to an organic CSA and a cut flower farm. We are proud to continue the history of organic agriculture on this land. Our mission is to feed people locally, sequester carbon and empower our community.

North Coast Brewing Company

Our partner organization North Coast Brewing Company is an integral part of our farm’s success. Throughout the growing season we create rich compost using the brewery’s leftover spent grain, hops and yeast slurry. We apply the compost to our fields, providing a nutrient-dense environment for our crops. This relationship not only feeds our plants but also diverts thousands of pounds of valuable nutrients from municipal waste systems. When ready, we supply produce to North Coast Brewing Company’s restaurant The Tap Room, where it is then enjoyed by both the Mendocino community and visitors from around the world.

Gowan first began to compost the brewery’s spent grain while working at Noyo Food Forest in Fort Bragg. After a few years, Gowan, her family and the brewery worked together to purchase the farm. Gowan is now Fortunate Farm’s farm manager and serves as the sustainability manager for North Coast Brewing Company. Without this radical partnership, Fortunate Farm could not have happened. Visit www.northcoastbrewing.com for more information about the brewery’s sustainability department and amazing beers!

Our Produce and Flowers

We grow primarily annual vegetables and perennials including fruit, flowers and rhubarb, and whenever possible use open-pollinated seeds from local seed growers.  Our practices are beyond organic. We don’t use pesticides or herbicides and our farming methods are based around composting and minimizing soil disruption. Aside from providing nutritious food to our community, our primary goal is to squester carbon, which you can learn more about on our carbon farming page.

To order from us wholesale, visit our online store or the Mendo-Lake Food Hub. To inquire about special orders for events in advance, please contact [email protected]

Farm Produce Seasonal Availability 

What we grow and when it is available includes, but certainly is not limited to, the produce listed in the table below.

Our Community

Caspar and the nearby communities of Fort Bragg and Mendocino are full of passionate and committed people who create a culture with music, art, volunteer service, and great local food. When we moved to our farm, we were immediately and enthusiastically enfolded by neighbors who share our passion for local food, soil health, and protecting an authentic quality of life. We love every minute of living here and spend as much time as possible involved in community efforts.

We’re active members of the following organizations:

Every year we donate to the following groups:

In addition, Gowan serves on the boards of the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) and the Mendocino County Farmer’s Market Association.

Our Family

Gowan - Farm Manager 

I grew up walking down the rows of my great-grandparent’s farm-turned-community CSA, but after graduating high school I didn’t think it would be possible for me to live in Mendocino County and find a way to farm. I studied metal fabrication and sustainable agriculture in college, and was able to find more job opportunities in metal fabrication. I received several emails from friends telling me about a position opening up as garden manager at Noyo Food Forest, and after applying for the job I moved home (without even knowing if I had been given the job, but luckily I had been chosen!).  I was manager of the Noyo Food Forest program for three seasons.  During that time, I began composting spent grain from North Coast Brewing Company as a hobby. My hobby grew into an obsession and a career; I am now sustainability manager at North Coast Brewing Company and my job is a dream come true. I’ve been led to distant and amazing places such as Turin, Italy as a United States Delegate to Terra Madre, an international sustainable food conference, while also deepening my roots here in Mendocino County. There is nowhere I would rather be and no one I would rather be working with than my farmily and North Coast Brewing Co.

Ellen - Business Manager

After spending my professional career helping to run a large community association in northern California, it felt only natural to translate those skills into my role as business manager of our intentional inter-generational family farm. I enjoy working creatively with our several business partners to promote vibrant living through community building, sustainable farming and business practices, and of course making sure healthy food is accessible to all.  Fortunate Farm is much more than our business; it is a special way of life to which we are deeply dedicated, and part of our business goal is to live it fully and richly.  We take special joy in helping our team members, like Chelsea and Allison, find their own paths into fulfilling careers in alignment with the core values of the farm.  We are proud to be able to share the results of our synergies with you.

Jef – Farm Curmudgeon

Fortunate Farm came to us after we decided as a family to create an intentional, inter-generational farming business. One of my inspirations for this venture was the Windy Hollow Farm family in Point Arena. I figured if they could  farm together in such fine fashion, there was no reason others couldn’t also.  It took nearly three years to find this property, but we did it!  As a lifelong activist with twenty-five years as an elementary school educator, I feel downright at home on our progressive farm – like we have landed. We are now three years into taking on all we can to help persuade, guide and encourage stewardship of this planet, while striving to be a positive force in the sustainable ag community. I love spreading the word, driving the tractor, doing community service and meeting folks from around the world. So you all come and see us sometime

Chelsea – Farmers Market Manager / Coastal Farmers Guild Coordinator

I’ve always known that I want to help people, but I just didn’t know in which direction to go. After graduating from college I did a year of service through AmeriCorps NCCC, and our first round was working with Gowan at Noyo Food Forest (NFF). NFF is Fort Bragg High School’s garden that provides fresh produce for student meals. I had a moment working there when I realized I had loved every moment of having my hands in the earth, digging up irrigation, planting fruit trees, and just genuinely helping to nourish the community. Once my AmeriCorps term was over, I joined the farm halfway through its first season. Due to injuries I’m not able to spend my days out in the field, so I’ve become the Farmers Market Manager as a way of keeping my toes in the plant world.

Allie – Event Coordinator

Beginning at a young age I was lucky enough to be exposed to travel, largely in part to my mom and her wanting to open my sister and I up to the world. I have since embraced a nomadic lifestyle and as a result have embarked on many adventures ranging from studying abroad in college, 10 months of national service with AmeriCorps, backpacking through Central and South America, farming and work trading off grid, and touring with a world-renowned farm to table dinner company.  A highlight of my experiences was in 2015 when I was introduced to Fortunate Farm, a truly magical place I called home for several months. The opportunity to step into the professional role of Event Coordinator is a dream made reality.  Some of my past accomplishments include establishing Spinganza, an open event to educate and excite wool-spinners within the Fort Bragg community; assisting with the implementation and development of The Organ Wise Guys, a Nutritional Education Program to be used in the Summer Playground Program through the Parks and Recreation Department in Portland, OR; and the planning and organizing of the annual SOS Charity Dance Event at the Samana Lounge in Vail, CO.  I am excited to tie all of my past experiences together in such a beautiful way.  Coming home to the farm has never felt so good!

Cameron - Farmer

My interest in farming grew from a desire to be a healthier person. My independent study of nutrition fostered my curiosity about where food comes from and I awoke to the reality of our industrial food system. I became inspired by those who were working to transform it, and now believe that if you grow food with a caring intention for the health of the earth, nature will reward you with balance and vigor. In spring of 2016 I left my four-year career as a production electrician and found myself on Fortunate Farm. My first seven weeks of farming here instilled in me a fascination of soil microbiology and an understanding of how important land management is to the health of the global climate. I temporarily left Fortunate Farm to work in Santa Barbara doing honey bee rescues and afterward completed Green String Institute's fall internship. I was welcomed back to Fortunate Farm in the winter of 2016 and have been here ever since. I am ambitious to contribute what I have learned to the local food movement and fortunate for the opportunity to bring carbon back in to the soil.

Megan - Farmer 

Environmentalism has always been my “thing” since I was a little kid. I grew up worrying about conserving water and taught my parents how to compost when I was in high school. During my undergrad at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), my friends and I co-led a fossil fuel divestment campaign and environmental student organization. Upon graduating, I became SAICs first Sustainability Coordinator and began working to more strategically guide the school's sustainability initiatives. This job was amazing and I loved it and during my free time I also volunteered on urban farms in the city. The more I experienced and learned about farming the harder I fell for it. After two and a half years at SAIC I left and started farming. Now I’m here at Fortunate Farm and am loving every minute of it. Much of my work involves row-crop/orchard planning and development, seeding and field work.  

Morgan - Farmer

I grew up in New Jersey—one of the most wonderfully diverse and underrated states in the U.S. as well as the home of the best pizza and bagels in the world. During and after my time studying at Brandeis University, I worked for Silent Spring Institute, performing research and administrative assistance. While working at Silent Spring, I loved doing field work but ultimately was spending too much time in the office. I had always been interested in farming but had never been in the right place at the right time to actually give it a try. What initially was going to be a month long stay here at Fortunate Farm has now become a year long farming experience, and is so amazing. In addition to the farm’s everyday work, I spend a lot of my time working with the farm’s small flock of fiber and dairy sheep helping to guide their grazing rotation and flock structure. 
For the future, I’m excited about bringing in more perennials into our fields; figuring out how to better incorporate livestock into the management and development of our landscape; and developing new ways to interact with our local community. Learning from our incredible surroundings, organisms and community—above and below ground—has been deeply humbling and fulfilling. Thank you for supporting our work!

Camping on the Farm

Come stay with us for an opportunity to experience our farm first hand!
The farm offers camping to the public through HipCamp, which allows us to share this space and invite people to come stay with us.
We offer 3 camping zones each with varying levels of privacy, and all within short walking distance of our communal barn and portable restrooms. Each zone can accommodate several small tents or a few larger sized tents. Our beautiful redwood barn is open to campers for cooking, access to potable water, or just to hang out in the shade and observe the authentic farm life in action. Campers can expect to be in awe of our wonderful produce and flower fields, admire our adorable flock of sheep aka resident field mowers, read, relax, do yoga, and enjoy our heritage olive grove, tune into the occasional harbor seal conversations that are audible on the farm, warm themselves by an evening fire, and fall asleep to the sounds of the nearby ocean.
Check out our listing on the HipCamp website, and for any special camping or space rental questions, don't hesitate to contact our events coordinator, Allie, via [email protected]


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